Opening Round: Does Hendo-Shogun Winner Deserve #1 Contender Spot?

Nothing has been confirmed, but many sources have said that the winner of Saturday night’s Dan Henderson-Mauricio “Shogun” Rua fight at UFC 139 will become the next top contender to the UFC light heavyweight title.

Currently, Rashad Evans is still the top-ranked contender to meet either UFC champion Jon Jones or challenger Lyoto Machida next. “Suga” is on the sidelines rehabbing a hand injury, while Jones-Machida meet in December at UFC 140.

So, why not just make the winner of Henderson-Rua the next challenger for Evans? Seems to make sense to me, especially considering UFC president Dana White has said Evans will need to take another fight before he cashes in his No. 1 contender ticket.

Many will argue that Evans shouldn’t have to defend himself and his shot at the belt, but if the UFC is going to make him take a fight, who else is he going to meet? Phil Davis, who was set to fight him earlier this year before going down with an injury? That wouldn’t be a bad fight, but “Hendo” and “Shogun” have much more to offer in regards to a fight.

If the Henderson-Rua fight ends early, as it has all the makings to be a knockout by one of the men due to their devastating strikes and abilities to finish, why not sign the winner to meet Evans at the second UFC on FOX card in late January? It would be a quick turnaround for the winner, but that is nothing new to either Henderson or Rua, and I think the prospect of being the next challenger to the UFC title would make them more willing to do so.

What do you think about the subject on today’s “Opening Round”? Tell us on our Twitter account (@mmatraining)!

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